Mumps Outbreak Reported at Houston ICE Detention Center

At least seven detainees have fell victim to the virus, but there is no evidence of the disease spreading outside of the center.

Members of the US Border Police

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Members of the US Border Police

On Saturday, Feb. 9, it was reported that the mumps virus infected detainees at an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Houston, Texas. 

According to the Associated Press, at least seven detainees have the virus. It is unclear if these individuals were infected before they were detained, but the Houston Health Department says that all the victims were adults and that there is no evidence of the disease outside of the center. 

We confirm seven mumps cases at an ICE facility in Houston. All seven individuals are adult detainees who were detained during their infectious period. There is no evidence the disease was transmitted to anyone outside of the facility.

— Houston Health Dept (@HoustonHealth) February 9, 2019

"Since these individuals were isolated inside the facility during the period they were infectious, we do not anticipate these cases posing a threat to the community," Dr. David Persse Houston's local health authority and EMS medical director told a local ABC affiliate.

The health department is said to be working with the facility on infection control methods and will do an onsite visit with the detention center in the near future. 

This news follows reports that ICE detention centers do not provide proper health care and subject detainees to neglected living conditions. In Nov. 2018, Yazmin Juarez filed a lawsuit against ICE after her 19-month-old daughter died while being held at a Texas detention center. In her suit, she alleges that ICE provided "substandard" healthcare for her and her child leading to her daughter's death. Also, the lawyers for 21 Savage state the ICE center where the rapper is in custody has unfit living conditions and that the United Nations have cited the facility for "extensive human rights violations."

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